TLDR: Change in the scientific narrative and generational cohort changes in social conservatives may mean the social conservatives leave the GOP which would sink the party. The GOP only won 1 out of the last presidential elections on the popular vote and that was in 2004. In that election a third of Republican voters were white social conservatives.
Abortion and theism may not keep social conservatives voting for the GOP for too much longer. The voting social pillar of the GOP is crucial to keep the GOP afloat. And the GOP is already in trouble with social conservatives over the economic and political pillars given its out in the open ever increasing dishonesty, thieving, and graft. I think drug incarceration vice treatment is becoming less of a wedge issue too when it means violent felons are being released early. Attacks on its AARP social security elders don’t help either. Still it’s the social issue that makes the social conservative voters and it’s their litmus. But two bedrock issues that keep social conservatives from ever crossing over may soften and allow for a social conservatives to cross over to the left, where they will be on logically much more consistent and compatible ground given their actual socio economic class and the deeper implications of their creed affiliations relative to the actual GOP. Further, the caricature of the liberal position may be changing due to shifts in science.
The first issue and ultimate wedge issue is abortion. It’s a matter of choosing who to coerce. Do we potentially imprison the baby and the mother in a life path that seems undesirable? Do we risk the health of the mother? Do we partially condone the tie with adoption? For social conservatives it’s the murder of innocent babies and for the most odious reason in the extreme case of partial birth. For social conservatives it has a damning moral residue for the left that’s supported it all these years especially now when women in the developed world now have so many reproductive choices in cases where abortion would also be an option. Although most aren’t against contraception, for most there there is still a huge difference between the morning after pill and late term abortion. This is akin to finding stem cells derived from skin cells more acceptable than those derived from embryos and it hints at how a shift in scientific development and narrative can shift allegiance on wedge issues.
The second wedge issue is theism. For social conservatives, liberals are simply too negative in their outlook and in their estimates of the ultimate potential of human nature and human experience. Also, arrogant in their confidence in their own ability to make such assessments, to the point that liberals, from the social conservative perspective, don’t seem able to properly value life or place the value of life within a meaningful continuum or even acknowledge meaning exists. The liberal viewpoint comes across as a dim calculus of pain avoidance which doesn’t seem that enlightened or likely to yield well lived lives. From the social conservative perspective, the stereotypical liberal perspective is both morally rudderless but also hopeless, tragic and stigmatizing.
Both these wedge issues have been around much longer than Roe v Wade and there have been many movements more associated with the left that haven’t moved the needle for core social conservatives including Theosophy- spiritualist/paranormal- new age, 60’s drug culture- alternative medicine- recent new age revival- intelligent design. The recent difference may be in changes in the mainstream scientific viewpoint reflected not just in academic journal articles and books but also in popular books, movies and TV shows allowing for change and of course the internet as a catalyst and means of dissemination. The power of software and movie magic alone has to have pulled on the conservative imagination. Recent court victories for social conservatives may help to weaken abortion as a wedge issue (might be way off here.) For theism science seems to be providing a more tenable framework as of late for more theistic type views which will make liberal stigma less of an issue. Christianity isn’t what it was, US churches are now filled with drums and guitars and books like “The Shack” are popular.
The Shack like another best seller “Proof of Heaven” has almost 9000 reviews on Amazon. In it, the divine Father is a big bold beautiful black woman and there is no hell. In Proof of Heaven a neuro surgeon visits the afterlife and returns to tell about it, he tells a story that seems more like Hinduism but a lot of Christians love it. This is the new moral majority. Its narrative is that we get lots of chances and everyone gets to be royalty.
Books /articles that suggest a change in scientific outlook:
Brian Greene Hidden Realities, Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
Thomas Nagel Mind and Cosmos
David Chalmers The Conscious Mind
Roger Penrose The Emperors New Mind
John Wheeler It from Bit Article
Stephen Meyer Darwin’s Doubt
Shift in popular Science books toward the former fringe.
Rupert Sheldrake A New Science of Life
Bruce Lipton Biology of Belief
Edward & Emily Kelly Irreducible Mind
Irving Laslow Immortal Mind
Dean Radin The Conscious Universe
Larry Dossey One Mind
Lynn McTaggart The Field
Penny Pierce Frequency
Michael Talbot The Holographic Universe
Raymond Moody Life after Life
Michael Newton Journey of Souls
David Wilcock Synchronicity Key
General popular best sellers
Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven
Mike Dooley The Top Ten things Dead People Want You to Tell You
William Young The Shack (fiction)
Conservatives are concerned with continuity. They want to conserve the past with the expectation that the future will resemble the past Continuity of self with origin through relationship or unbroken continuum of experience, also with continuity of identity or bodily form. The newer scientific narrative seems to admit consciousness as fundamental addressing their concern for origin and it also suggests continuity of form or identity or at least smoother continuum, it suggests survivability speaking to some of the concerns around abortion and its moral culpability. The surge of life after death or visiting the after-life popular lit is also suggesting no punitive element reducing social anxiety over the issue. I suspect evangelist will start switching sides also expect the evangelistic fever will die down somewhat, undermining war on terror orientations. Given increasing transparency (of which neutrality is part) it seems the false flag terror megaphone is less powerful than the scientific mega phone with melting ice caps, Hubble telescopes and strings.